ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - A support network bringing together families who lost loved ones at the hands of law enforcement met with Gov. Tim Walz Wednesday, the first meeting of its kind for the state’s chief executive since the pandemic first hit.
Toshira Garraway launched the group called Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence. 11 years ago, her then fiancée Justin Tiegen was found bloodied and dead in a recycling bin after fleeing from St. Paul Police.
Wednesday’s gathering with the Governor was spaced out at the Governor’s Mansion garden. Garraway said the meeting showed Walz “really cares” about what happened to those families.
“What we need to happen, we need legislative changes,” said Ashley Quinones, a widow. “We need cases re-opened, we need to continue to try to get rid of qualified immunity.”
Quinones had her life shattered a year ago when her husband Brian Quinones was shot to death by Edina and Richfield Police. Brian live streamed his final moments in his car before jumping out with what appeared to be a knife in his hand.
The officers involved were never charged. It was ruled a justified use of deadly force.
“I want them to think about the fact that these are human beings being wrongfully and unjustly killed by our government and they need to be held accountable,” said Ashley.
Thursday, Ashley is heading to the streets of St. Paul to join a planned racial justice demonstration where Derek Chauvin’s bail will be the focus.
“Disgusted, because any other person that would murder anybody in the street would never get out on bond while being charged with murder,” she said.
The Governor’s spokesperson told FOX 9 Wednesday’s meeting was “productive and important” and was previously scheduled. It was purely a coincidence it fell on the same day Chauvin was released from custody.